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Ice
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by Francesco Tremolada and Nicola Tondini

I’ve been here many times before, ski mountaineering in the depths of winter. But rarely has the weather been so beautiful. And so extremely cold.

As I ski up the road that cuts through this valley, my eye catches something I had never previously noticed: a curtain of ice, fascinating and unexpected, cascading down steep walls into this narrow theatre below. The entire left-hand side has suddenly been transformed into a magnificent winter stage, as the frozen drips cling to the walls, intertwining, plunging downwards through the overhangs, some even remaining suspended in mid-air, not reaching the steep slope below.

I’m immediately struck by the beauty of the obvious lines, the largest and widest falls, but in my enthusiasm I fail to decipher the finer subtleties that work their way through the overhangs, the icicles and cauliflowers that can only be overcome through difficult mixed climbing.

At home I show my photos to Mauri Gallo, a Mountain Guide who has spent most of his life climbing steep ice, and in his eyes I read what I had failed to comprehend before…

Our real ice adventure began a few days later and since then, three seasons on, we have climbed what is now described in this article.


(Davide Crescenzio chugging Train de vie on the Muro del Pianto, with M. Pelmo in the background)

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